Jesus and Santa

imagesCAE96E22Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I enjoy the beautiful lights, the wonderful smells and the special time with the family. But all of these pale in comparison to the reason for the season: God entering His own narrative in the form of a helpless child to redeem humanity from a debt they could never pay.

But in the West we also have a jolly figure named Santa Claus that many parents (whether Christian or non-Christian) tell their children about. Some Christians see no problem with re-telling the story of Santa Claus while others strongly oppose it.

Michael Patton (who doesn’t see a major issue with it) helpfully lays out three common Christian objections towards “playing Santa” (check out his responses here):

1. Playing Santa takes away from the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ.

2. Playing Santa is a lie

3. If you play Santa your kids may think you are “playing” God too

I think number one is defiantly a possibility but it’s not just limited to Santa. Our commercialized holiday has become a far cry from what God wanted us to remember by having His son being born in an animal’s feeding trough. Number two is the biggest reason why I don’t “push” Santa onto my kids nor shy from the truth when they ask me about him. I don’t want my sons to question if I’m being honest with them or put a thought in their mind that they can’t trust me. I think number three is kind of silly because they aren’t (or at least shouldn’t be) on the same plane in the Christian mind. This was true to me even at an early age. In the fifth grade I was so convinced that Santa Claus was real that me and a friend (who was a bit shaper than me and ended up going to Harvard) “debated” with most of the other kids about why Santa was real. I believed the story until it was dispelled by my father explaining it. But never once did I equate Santa with God there was simply not contest between the two.

untitledI think Pastor John Piper has some extremely helpful and wise thoughts on Jesus and Santa. He wants to point us to Christ as our greatest treasure instead of focusing on the negative aspects of what effect Santa may or may not have on our kids.

He raises the question why give our kids fast food (i.e. Santa) when they can have a feast with the finest cuisine through Christ?

Here is the link to John Piper’s audio (for some reason it won’t embed on my blog):

What do you think?

What should the Christian responce/position to Santa be during Christmas and for the rest of year?


~ by simplesage on December 16, 2013.

One Response to “Jesus and Santa”

  1. It is interesting how Santa has become so controversial to Christians over the years, and maybe it always has and I just did not know… but growing up Santa was a big deal in our family and when I figured out he was not “real” it was no big deal and did not affect my faith in Christ. I never even correlated or related the two things. Now with that said we made the decision not to make a big deal about Santa with our kids. But out kids have latched on to it anyway. We do not promote him other that they get one gift, usually small, from him. We continually remind them the true reason for the season though, which is more important than if they do or do not believe in Santa. What I find interesting is how Santa gets a bad rap but excessive gift giving and wanting does not. Giving into our kids every little want and desire when it come to material things is far more damaging then letting them believe in Santa.

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